Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Natural Perfumers Guild Fleur Awards - a surprise launch during Brave New Scents project

The Natural Perfumers Guild Fleur Awards 2011 


We are keeping the final design for the Fleurs under wraps until next year, and the following recipients will receive their physical awards at that time, and receive printed certificates at this time.


Several Guild members and myself kept this surprise announcement of the Fleur Awards under our hats for several months, and it was hard to do!  We will have a much-expanded awards ceremony next year, but the logical tie-in with our Brave New Scents project demanded that we select two of the most innovative, ground-breaking members and present them with the first Fleurs.  The two members have devoted much of their careers to distilling aromatics, a big step forward for perfumers in modern times, when most perfumers rely on suppliers for their raw materials.  The October 1, 2011 Guild Brave New Scents project highlights natural aromatics of the 21st Century, and both recipients of the award are pioneers that have stepped up and created their own distillates for their businesses, and, by doing so, have encouraged many of us to do the same.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jeanne Rose - of the Aromatic Plant Project

From the Aromatic Plant Project website: The Aromatic Plant Project is an educational organization and assists people in finding the correct essential oil and hydrosol distillers and distillation equipment for their needs. We are a non-profit educational organization here to support American Agriculture and its natural products. 



Jeanne Rose is a valued Associate member of the Natural Perfumers Guild, and she is respected for her long career as an aromatherapist, author, educator and public works on behalf of natural aromatics and healing.  She certainly was a Brave New Soul in the 1960s when she began her studies of herbalism and natural healing, and published one of America's seminal herbal books.  Herbs and Things was her first book about using herbs to heal, and aromatic plants for pleasure.  A few years later her first books on aromatherapy were published.  Her work with distilling aromatic and healing plants, and holding classes to educate the public on this art have combined to create a place for her in American history, because she was the first in modern times to accomplish such projects.  She led the way for many of us to take up distilling, reviving a lost fragrant skill and adding to our artisan natural perfumeries.  Jeanne teaches many courses, from herbalism to natural perfumery to aromatherapy, and travels the country giving seminars and workshops on these subjects.

Congratulations, Jeanne, there is no person more deserving of a
Lifetime Achievement Award from us!


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21st Century Innovator


Alexandra Balahoutis of Strange Invisible Perfumes

It's coincidental that Alexandra Balahoutis started her 100% botanical perfumerie in 2000, the year that the Brave New Scents project selected as a starting point for all that is new and wonderful in our natural perfumery world. 



Members of the Guild took notice last year when Alexandra had a Company Retreat Day to distill botanicals for her perfumerie. Neroli was distilled that day, along with pink peppercorns and oranges and other fragrant beauties.  This link will work if you are on Facebook.  Alexandra also commissions distillers around the world to produce essential oils for her. She may be the first self-sufficient natural perfumer because of her desire to be in control of her raw materials, something we artisans can aspire to in the 21st Century.  


Alexandra Balahoutis of Strange Invisible Perfumes

Alexandra Balahoutis, Innovator and Perfumer, is awarded a Fleur for her groundbreaking work as someone who is determined to take control of the most basic raw materials - the essential oils - and by doing so, guarantees that the best and most beautiful aromatics will be the inspiration and fulfillment of her perfumes.


From left to right: neroli, pink peppercorns and orange flowers/oranges/orange tree leaves. From Strange Invisible Perfumes Company Distillation Retreat in Ojai, CA, Apr. 23, 2010

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We are currently conducting a poll among Guild members to select the flower to represent the Fleur Awards and so far the rose is winning by 60%. Jasmine, tuberose and gardenias are also getting votes, and the winning flower will be announced October 15. 

4 comments:

  1. Envious of the above setup. Congratulations to Jeanne and Alexandra.

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  2. You and me both Adam! Well deserved to both these amazing women!

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  3. This is an awesome idea for the Guild to recognize the shining stars in the field. Congrats to both of this year's winners!

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  4. Congratulations Jeanne and Alexandra. Well deserved honor!

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